Karl Frantsevich Rule

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rul’e, Karl Frantsevich


Born Apr. 8 (20), 1814, in Nizhny Novgorod, present-day Gorky; died Apr. 10 (22), 1858, in Moscow. Russian naturalist, biologist, and evolutionist.

In 1833, Rul’e graduated from the Moscow department of the Medical and Surgical Academy. In 1840 he was appointed a professor at Moscow University. His early research was on the geology and paleontology of the Moscow basin. Rul’e’s work in theoretical biology is of particular interest. Rul’e developed the theory that organisms are dependent on the conditions of their existence. He assumed a causal relationship betweeen the evolution of living forms and changes in habitat. In 1852, before the publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859), Rul’e noted that the introduction and acclimatization of new breeds of animals are important in understanding the evolutionary process that occurs under natural conditions. He believed that heredity is determined by conditions that developed historically, and he defined variability as the process by which organisms adapt to the conditions of existence. Rul’e opposed the metaphysical and teleological views of G. Cuvier and rejected the theory of invariability of species. He founded in the pre-Darwin era the first scientific school of zoologists-evolutionists, whose proponents included A. P. Bogdanov, Ia. A. Borzenkov, N. A. Severtsov, and S. A. Usov. He also promoted the study of “zoobiology”—a science devoted to organisms in all their manifestations under particular conditions. Rul’e elaborated a broad program of research on animal ecology and psychology.


Izbrannye biologicheskie proizvedeniia. Moscow, 1954. (Bibliography.)


Raikov, B. E. Russkie biologi-evoliutsionisty do Darvina, vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955.
Mikulinskii, S. R. K. F. Rul’e i ego uchenie o razvitii organicheskogo mira. Moscow, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.